Osteoporosis affects your bones, but also impacts a number of other body systems. It can cause severe pain and fragile bones that break easily and may not heal properly, and may exist concurrently with kidney disease, autoimmune issues, and parathyroid concerns. Any of these symptoms and related conditions—especially when they occur together—can prevent you from completing your normal job duties and cause you to lose your job.
If you cannot work because of your symptoms or side effects, you may qualify to draw Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits for osteoporosis. The Pittsburgh SSD attorneys at Berger and Green can help you determine your eligibility help the Social Security Administration (SSA) get the documentation to prove your claim. We also understand the appeals process and can fight for the benefits you deserve after a denial. Call us today at 412-661-1400 to get started.
Is osteoporosis a disability?
The SSA does not have an impairment listing specifically for osteoporosis, meaning the diagnosis on its own will not qualify you for SSD benefits. However, you may qualify based on the symptoms or related conditions. Depending on their severity, almost every symptom of osteoporosis can prevent you from doing work-related tasks or normal, everyday activities.
You may qualify for SSD benefits if you cannot work because your osteoporosis causes other symptoms or exists with another medical condition. The SSA lists detailed qualification criteria for each of the following:
- Severe pain;
- Broken bones that do not heal properly;
- Poor kidney function;
- Vitamin or hormone imbalances due to parathyroid issues; or
- A limited immune system or other autoimmune problems.
In some cases, you may still qualify even if you do not meet the specific criteria under these impairment listings. The SSA will look at your specific impairments and determine your residual functional capacity in order to see if you could work your job or another job. If they find your condition prevents you from working, they will approve your claim.
If you are unsure whether or not you qualify, contact our disability lawyers. We can review your claim before you apply to help you determine your eligibility for SSD benefits.
How can I prove my claim
The SSA requires a high level of documentation to prove your claim for SSD benefits.
The SSA will want to see laboratory reports on your blood tests, copies of your bone density scan results, any x-rays or other imaging scans, and even notes about your abilities and impairments from your doctor or physical therapist. If you have a broken bone that is not healing properly, they will need to see notes about your treatment, the results, and any reports of chronic pain. They will also want to see treatment notes about any other impairment that you have and the regular testing done to keep tabs on your osteoporosis.
We can review your claim and answer any questions you have about qualifying for disability based on your osteoporosis. We know what the SSA examiner needs to see to approve your claim and can help you apply or can double-check to ensure you completed the application accurately. We cannot promise they will approve your claim, but we can eliminate many common mistakes that lead to denials.
How do I apply for disability benefits?
There are two types of SSD benefits available to Pittsburgh residents who meet the SSA’s definition of disabled. Both have additional requirements based on work credits and income.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), the most common disability benefit, provides a monthly payment based on your previous income. To meet SSDI eligibility requirements, you simply need to have enough work credits and be unable to work.
Some people who qualify for SSDI will also meet the criteria to draw Supplemental Security Income (SSI). This program pays out to disabled applicants who meet strict income qualifications and do not have many financial resources to help them support their families.
Both of these programs use the same application, making it easy to apply for both at the same time. You can apply for disability online or over the phone by calling 1-800-772-1213. Berger and Green can also help you apply for benefits.
What can I do if the SSA denied my claim?
Unfortunately, many applicants find themselves in this situation. First, do not panic. This does not mean you do not qualify for SSD benefits. We can remedy this in the appeals process and get you the benefits you deserve, as well as back pay to cover the delay caused by the appeal.
Call us soon after you receive the official denial notice and we can get to work building a strong case for your approval. Once we determine the issue with your initial application, we need to act quickly to request an appeals hearing with an administrative law judge. We only have 60 days to request this hearing.
In the hearing, we present all the documentation pertaining to your claim to the administrative law judge. We are typically able to get qualified clients approval during this step in the appeals process, although we can take other action if necessary.
How can I contact Berger and Green about my claim?
The lawyers at Berger and Green are here to help you secure the benefits you deserve, including SSDI and SSI. From double-checking your initial application to navigating the appeals process, we can give you the best chance at approval for the benefits you need for your osteoporosis. Call us today at 412-661-1400 to schedule a time to discuss your SSD claim.